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May 2003 Newsletter

| Conference on Advancing Women's Skills | Blue Ridge Career Center | Character Traits |
| Murray County Rated #1 | Words of Praise from WIA Parent | WIA Reauthorization | NWGa News |
| Larry Beck Named Assistant Commissioner | Southeast Lineman Training Center | Rockmart High School Student Honored |

Conference on Advancing Women’s Skills and Opportunities

Dalton residents Karen White and Gebarb Acosta, New Connections to Work, recently attended a conference in Washing ton, D.C. organized by Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment.

Women Work!’s national conference brings together service providers and advocates from around the country for four days of skill-building, networking and advocacy. Women Work! is the leading national organization working to empower displaced homemakers and single parents and assist them in achieving economic self-sufficiency through education, job training and employment.

“The Women Work! Conference was a great opportunity for us to tell other programs about New Connections to Work’s successful strategies for helping women to achieve economic self-sufficiency and to learn from our counterparts in other states,” says Ms. White. “Our services to women in this community will be strengthened and enhanced as a result of our participation in this conference.”

Dalton State College’s New Connections to Work program provides encouragement, support and training to women as they prepare for and enter the paid workforce. Last year New Connections to Work participated in the Career Expo and worked with local health and educational fairs. They held Continuing Education classes and participate in workshops at the Dalton One-Stop Career Center. New Connections to Work is located at both Dalton State College and the Dalton One-Stop Career Center. For more information about New Connections to Work, please call 706-272-4592.

Blue Ridge Career Center To Become Comprehensive One Stop

The Blue Ridge Career Center in Fannin County has received approval from the Workforce Investment Board to become a comprehensive “full service” One Stop Center. This will be the second in Northwest Georgia, the first is located in Whitfield county at the Dalton Career Center.

Becoming a comprehensive One Stop Center means that all the partner services will be located in the career center. This offers convenience for customers and allows partners to share resources. It has also been a planning goal of the One Stop Consortium to add additional comprehensive One Stop Centers.

West Central Technical College, located in Haralson County has also begun the application process. Once all three are in operation this will allow customers in both the northern counties and southern counties access to the full service centers.

Character Traits

Perseverance—steady persistence in working to achieve an objective.

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance”
Samuel Johnson, 1759

Developmental Assets

Positive Identity: Sense of Purpose—Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”


Work Participation for Murray County Rated #1 in Region

Through hard work and cooperation with resource partners the participation rate in Murray County was raised by 14% up to 17.2%. Some of these partners include New Connections to Work, DOL’s Goodworks Program, Vocational Rehabilitation and WIA.

Rosemary Smith, Employment Services Case Manager for Murray County, stated she could not have done this alone. Cooperation between Partners, case workers and customers results in increased participation through employment services, leading to smaller case loads and fewer repeat applicants. The key is to place applicants in jobs that better suit their individual needs.


Words of Praise from Parent of WIA graduate

Words of praise were sent in from one satisfied parent. WIA can make the difference! 
The comments are as follows:

I am the proud parent of a Career Depot graduate and would like to thank each
 of you for your commitment towards his future! You have made a real difference
 and continue to help him become a successful adult. I have recommended your
 program to others, and also praised you to many. I know God will continue
 to bless your program. Thank you for a second chance.”

Proposed WIA Reauthorization Discussed at SETA Luncheon

Dr. Helen Parker, USDOL Regional Administrator for Employment and Training Administration for Region 3 spoke at a luncheon during the SETA conference held in March. She reviewed proposed amendments to the Workforce Investment Act. Below are the summary points that were covered.


Role of the State WIB would be strengthened and membership requirements streamlined. Business majority would no longer be required. State-level administrators of One-Stop partner programs would have more authority over One-Stop Centers.

Membership and function of local boards would be reconfigured.

Youth Councils would be optional.

Grandfathering provision for state and local boards would be dropped as part of reauthorization.

Reauthorization ends appeal rights at the state level and eliminates initial and subsequent designation provisions to allow Governors to align workforce area with local and regional labor markets.

Planning cycle for state and local plans would be reduced from five to two years.

Operational costs of the One-Stop System would be financed through dedicated “One-Stop infrastructure” funding. Each partner would contribute a portion of funds to the One-Stop infrastructure funding—either at the Federal or state level. Funds would go to the Governor.

WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated Worker and Wagner-Peyser funding streams would be combined into a single formula grant, resulting in streamlined program administration and reduction of duplication and inefficiency.

Formula for state allotment would take into account formula factors for WIA and Wagner-Peyser. Re-allotment authority would be based on expenditures rather than obligations.

Governors would allocate at least 50% of the combined funding stream to local area (40% based on a statutory formula and 10% based on a formula decided by the Governor). The remaining 50% would be available to the Governor for activities such as rapid response, support for core services in the One-Stop System, etc.

Individuals would receive the services most appropriate to their needs. There would be no requirement for sequence of services.

Reauthorization provides the Governor the authority to determine what standards, information and data would be required for the eligible training provider

Reauthorization would simplify the requirements for OJT, customized and incumbent worker training.

Individual Training Accounts would change to Career Scholarships which could be enhanced by adding other resources such as employer paid resources.

Funds would be targeted to out-of-school youth, rather than a combination of in-school and out-of-school services.

Cities and rural area with proven youth programs would apply directly to DOL for targeted funding and in-school service would be allowable. Areas could apply to address unique needs, such as summer employment and career exploration.

Performance Accountability:

The number of performance indicators would be reduced from 17 to 8 common measures (4 adult, 4 youth) for employment and training programs.

The waiver process would be simplified.

This section would be simplified to allow a state option in which governors could apply for block grant authority.

Northwest Georgia News

Northwestern Technical College received a National Merit Award for having one of the top 50 pass rates in the nation in its surgical technology program. This award was given by the Liaison Council on Certification for Surgical Technology and is presented to schools where more than 90% of students in a program pass the national certification exam. Congratulations, Northwestern!

Commissioner Michael Thurmond recently presented the following Georgia Department of Labor awards. Unilever of Cartersville received the Private Sector Award for it’s outstanding workplace safety program. The Award of Excellence for workplace safety was presented to Harriet & Henderson Yarn Company of Cedartown, Gold Kist, Inc. of Calhoun, and North American Container Corporation of Adairsville. Congratulations to all the award winners!

Lucy Hale, Workforce Investment Coordinator/Career Advisor at Coosa Valley Tech has been named a Master Career Development Professional by the National Career Development Association. She is one of the first in the nation to achieve this honor.

Larry Beck Named Assistant Commission for Rehabilitative Services

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond announced today that he has named Larry Beck of Cartersville theLarry Beck Georgia Department of Labor’s Assistant Commissioner for Rehabilitation Services. Beck, a 32-year veteran of the department, has served for the past 21 months as acting assistant commissioner and transition leader for the merger of the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) from the state’s Department of Human Resources to the Labor Department.

“In his role as acting commissioner, Larry provided outstanding leadership that ensured the successful merger of Rehabilitation Services with the Labor Department,” said Thurmond. “I’m very pleased to now appoint him as the permanent assistant commissioner, so that he can continue our efforts to create, develop, and access opportunities for full participation of persons with disabilities.

“I’m truly excited to have the opportunity to assure that persons with disabilities have the opportunities that Commissioner Thurmond envisions in a world-class workforce,” said Beck. “As the economy recovers, the renewed focus on training, skills, and appropriate support, such as assistive technology, will create new opportunities for persons with disabilities.”

WIA Participants Successfully Complete
Southeast Lineman Training Center Course

Southeast LinemenTwo WIA participants from the Northwest Georgia Workforce Area graduated from the Electrical Lineworker Program at Southeastern Lineman Training Center in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Eddie Abercrombie from Murray County and Terry Sparks from Walker County successfully completed the 16-week course April 17, 2003. In the Lineworker Program, students learn how to climb wood poles, install crossarms and hardware on poles, install underground systems, install conductors and pole-line equipment, operate the equipment, and learn to use various tools of the trade in simulated conditions. Students work in crews and learn that individual success depends on teamwork.


Rockmart High School Student Honored

Lori Strong, a student at Rockmart High School was recently honored by the Focus on Abilities Council. At the Council’s annual awards luncheon Lori was named Student of the Year for her outstanding job performance and attention to career goals.

Lori is a youth participant in the Workforce Investment Program (WIA). She works as a teaching assistant with pre-school children and is a member of the Rockmart High School chapter of the Vocational Opportunities Club of America. The Workforce Investment Board, WIA staff, and Rockmart High are very proud of Lori’s accomplishments.

Congratulations to Lori!